Tuesday, January 6, 2015

For the Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

Adoration of the Magi--a beautiful image!

Holy Mother Church dedicates the month of January to the Holy Name of Jesus. Through this devotion the Church reminds us of the power of Christ's Name and the reverence with which it should be spoken. In Sacred Scriptures we read “That in the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” (Phil 2:10). Traditionally Catholics, upon hearing Jesus' Name, briefly bow their head. It is also tradition for a Catholic, hearing Jesus' Name used irreverently, to make the Sign of the Cross, repeating out of respect:

 Sit nomen Domini benedictum
 (Blessed be the Name of the Lord).

It is through this most Sacred Name that the Church administers her sacraments, offers her prayers, casts out evil spirits, and gives blessings. We, therefore, would do well to imitate her. As Scripture tells us, it is in His Name that we should place our faith (1 John 3:23), do our works (Col 3:17), and say our prayers (John 16:23-24).

 It is quite simple to honor the sweet Name of Jesus through prayer just as numerous saints did. As Fr. O'Sullivan writes in The Wonders of the Holy Name, an extremely powerful, but very short prayer is simply the name of Jesus said with devotion and reverence. This prayer is an act of perfect love that fills the soul with joy, peace, and strength. In Scripture St. Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing. What easier way to accomplish this than to lovingly repeat the Sacred name of Jesus, not just once, but repeatedly throughout our day!

Throughout the month of January, may we bring the devotion of the Holy Name of our Lord into our new year. Let us strive to honor Jesus through prayer, sacrifices, and acts of love done for Him.

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Prayer in Honor of the Holy Name of Jesus

Most merciful Jesus, You began Your office of Savior by shedding Your blood and assuming for us that Name which is above all names. I thank You for such early proofs of Your infinite love. I venerate Your sacred Name in union with the deep respect of the angel who first announced it to the earth. I also unite my affections to the sentiments of tender devotion which Your adorable Name has in all ages enkindled in the hearts of Your servants.
Jesus, You said, “If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you.” I earnestly ask the Father in Your Name for an increase of faith, hope, and love, and the grace to lead a good life and die a happy death.

Jesus, Your Name means “Savior.” Be my Savior. Through Your adorable Name, which is the joy of heaven, the terror of hell, the consolation of the afflicted, and the solid ground of my unlimited confidence, grant me all the petitions I make in this prayer.  Amen.

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